If you’re blowing up the roster, with the eye on a few years from now, shouldn’t Alexei be on the block as well? League average hitter, terrific fielder, and a cheap contract. Considering the lack of SS options, seems like they could get a fairly decent haul if he was put on the market.
They have serious concerns with starting pitching over the next couple years… Their rotation could be completely overturned within that time frame, and the only chance of revival will be within the pieces they acquire. I still believe it was a mistake going all in for the 2010-2011 seasons with an extremely depleted farm system. They should have been more patient with exchanges for future pieces in the hopes of a revival 2 years down the road. I think the White Sox could be heading in the direction of your current Houston Astros if this situation isn’t handled with enough care and a lot of resulting luck.
Either way, they should be a fixture at the bottom of the standings as soon as KC figures things out. A fire sale could look pretty ugly, and make the “White Flag trade” of ’97 pale in comparison.
The interesting thing is that KW could deal a couple of these pieces and still win the division. I shouldn’t be understated how bad the division is this year, and the fact that the Sox are still in it while having SEVERELY sub-par performances from half the roster means that regression from a few players like Dunn, Rios, or Beckham could be more than enough to put them in the lead over the next couple months. If I’m KW, I at least dump Jackson regardless because I have 6 starters now that are pitching very well.
So, the W Sox, might win a weak division, but they might just as easily be laughed out of the playoffs. At this point, I don’t think a little bit of added revenue with a playoff run will help much when it comes to keeping them competitive for next year.
But maybe you’re right… Maybe it’s just best to say “screw it” and go for it, since they are already knee deep, and just accept the future consequences. There might not be much of a difference between getting out of an 18 foot ditch instead the 14 foot ditch they are already in.
I guess it depends on who you’re dealing with… The Cardinals for instance, with an already powerful middle of the order, could slip Alexi near the bottom of the order and truly benefit from the solid defense and base running along with adequate power potential. He’s not a feature type player, but certainly a valuable compliment to an already strong lineup.
MatManz’ point is important. Half the team has sucked for no good reason. Sure, maybe all those guys’ careers just legitimately fell off a cliff, but it’s at least as likely that a couple of them will regress any day now.
Kenny went “All In,” and lost a ton in doing so. He has traded a lot of young talent for questionable/expensive vets and has set this team up for further declines as the vets get older and creaky. Yes, he could trade an Edwin Jackson and hope to land another Sergio Santos, but he finds himself in a similar situation to Jim Hendry on the north side which is that if wants to get the best talent in return, he will need to trade guys that he does not want to put on the block at this time.
He will likely do what he has done in the past which is to try to trade guys who dont “make” the clubhouse like Jackson, Thornton and Quentin and try to catch lightning in a bottle with aging vets like he has with Roberto Alomar, Carl Everett and Manny to try to fiegn an attempt to get to the playoffs for ticket holders.
The problem with that is that he will never fully committ to the future because the team is so devoid of farm talent after all his trades (worst talent level in all of MLB?). Doing so would require a very long-term investment which is time he probably does not have.
By this time next year, the result of Kenny going “All In,” will likely create a worst case scenario: the AL version of the Houston Astros.
and, it’s not a matter of having a decent chance… While the Sox have some potential upside offensively, we’re still talking about a team that’s 1 game below .500 approaching August (and has been above .500 for maybe 10 days all season) WITHIN a weaker division. There’s still a lot to ask for even if Dunn and Rios can swing things around.
Beckham’s defense is like icing on an invisible cake. If you look at his hitting development, it’s been alarmingly poor for a “top prospect”. His BB/K ratio has been on a step decline since entering the majors. He has to be an untouchable just because his value as a hitter is so low.
My guess is that this series vs. DET will influence decisions, for better or worse.
Won game 1 and Dunn just took V deep for an early lead. I’d keep trying to win the division. SFG is a good example of what can happen.
My other guess is that the blowuo of the team will occur with a new GM and manager. I don’t think KW nor Ozzie want to go through rebuilding, and neither guy is mentally equipped to do it. They’re both highly competitive and impatient.
Comment by CircleChange11 — July 26, 2011 @ 8:50 pm
People have been calling for this team to be “blown up” since after the 2007 season, where they finished 72-90.
But, what has complicated the issue is their record following that season:
2008 — 89-74, 1st in division
2009 — 79-83, 3rd in division
2010 — 88-74, 2nd in division
So, basically the team should be blown up in order to be more competitive in the future?
More competitive how? By finishing in the top of the division? They already do that.
IMO, there’s A LOT of risk in blowing up a “winning” team in the hopes that what they get back in return will develop into a “better” team.
IMO, they’d be blowing up the team just to blow it up. Would they really get a bunch of young talent in return? And combine that talent with what young talent they already have?
Houston, the team the CWS beat in the 2005 WS, was able to “blow up their team” due to aging players reaching obvious retirement and the team finishing in the bottom half of the division for multiple years. Houston will be in rebuilding mode for quite some time … likely continually trading decent young players in hopes of getting more in return. In reality, they’ll probably just keep spinning their wheels.
I rarely see evidence of teams being “blown up” and it working out to be a good rebuilding strategy. What DOES work is consistently adding young talent to replace certain players, and meshing young talent with veteran players.
To me, that’s what CWS should try and do … trade a valuable piece for a valuable piece that they can use. For example, trading Jackson or Danks for Rasmus would be a good deal for them.
Dunn, Konerko, TCQ, Ramirez, and the starting staff are worth continuing to build around.
Teams in the Central also do not need to mimic the teams of the East where the perception is that you need an all-star at every other position. They don’t. They are drastically under performing with the bat, and are just 2 games out.
They have 3 starters that are on pace to finish about league average in WAR. There’s no way Dunn and Rios continue to be -1.7 and -1.5 brWAR players. If they revert to career norms, it could result in as many as 3 wins for the remainder of the season. I don’t know what odds either guy has at actually turning it around, but they can’t get much worse.
It’s very easy, and perhaps comforting, to say “blow the team up”, but it’s much more difficult to actually do such a thing, get back good value, and actually improve to a better situation than you’re currently in.
Comment by CircleChange11 — July 26, 2011 @ 9:35 pm
… or Rasmus for StL native, Buehrle. Rasmus for Jackson is a bad deal for StL given the length of the two player’s contracts.
Also, what’s up with Juan Pierre’s UZR? His offense is almost identical to the 2.8 WAR season he put up last year. The difference is that his FRuns went from 12.8 to -8. (Edit: The difference is 5 errors in 2011, 1 error in 2010).
Comment by CircleChange11 — July 26, 2011 @ 9:42 pm
Even if they get laughed out of the playoffs, making the playoffs still brings in plenty of revenue, from a business standpoint.
You’re still playing a minimum of 3 postseason games, sell plenty of postseason merch, and garnering plenty of TV revenues. It also generally increases season ticket sales for the next year.
In other words, the Sox are too close to a playoff berth to blow up the team. And, Detroit and Cleveland are not particularly “good” teams and are not far superior to the CWS. It’s an open division.
I’d love to see Mark Buehrle wind up with the Pirates; I mean, “The Deer Hunter” took place somewhere around Pittsburgh, right? Realistically, I think that Edwin Jackson gets auctioned off to the highest bidder between the Yankees and Red Sox and that everybody else stays.
As has been noted elsewhere on the interwebs (I’m looking at you craigws!), a full “blowup” probably isn’t needed. There are perfectly good (or at least league-average) alternatives available to the White Sox in AAA, that would probably float them to parity with the Tigers/Indians. The inability/unwillingness of management to execute these promotions is pretty damning, especially since they seem to be the result of personal tensions between Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen. It’ll be very unfortunate if the White Sox end up in the Astros situation in a couple years because there’s not an adult in charge.
Sam is on to what I posted above. Look, the moves Kenny made for this season improved the team for this year. My point is, what about 2012 and 2013? They basically cheated death with Paul Konerko hitting like he did (better than?) in 2010. What were the odds he was going to do that at age 35? Now what about the odds to do it at age 36 and 37? Even with him, they still can’t seem to get over the hump. 2 steps forward, 2 steps back has been the theme of the season and seasons past. One psychologically damaging game (see Jim Thome’s walkoff last year) sends this team into a spiral.
Circlechange11 – you make a good point about the end result of the product. Good records overall, but those 09-10 teams were very flawed and borrowed alot from the future in order to tread water and finish well out of it. It was the same type of questionable moves the Astros started to make at the tail end of the Killer B’s era that they havent been able to get themselves out from under. It just may be time to pay the piper when it comes to the aftermath of Kenny’s trades draining the farm system coupled with his veteran aquisitions not performing at the level he was hoping they would at the major league level.
That one’s not (entirely) his fault; the Nats backed out of a deal at the deadline last year to swap Jackson and Dunn. That’s why he made the Jackson/Hudson swap in the first place.
Of course, why he’d want to trade Hudson at all is beyond me.
Comment by Sean O'Neill — July 27, 2011 @ 10:14 am
I’ve read a few people comparing this team to houston, which frankly, is a very lazy comp. The big difference is that chicago can easily support a $120 million payroll. Houston could too but Drayton McClane was always tight with the purse strings. Houston is now talking about slashing down payroll to the lower fifth of the league or so. Houston is looking like the Siberia of MLB, complete with new ownership, possibly a new FO and with the markings of a rebuilding process that may take a decade to complete. The ChiSox situation isn’t nearly as dire. The worst case scenario is that they trade off veteran pieces for the next three or four years until they are out from under the albatross contracts of guys like Rios and Dunn. When you have the ability to sustain the type payroll the Sox can, you can turn things around fairly quickly if you make some smart and lucky personel choices.